Half of all people have a significant amount of grey hair by the time they turn 50.
I’ve put those facts at the top because it shows the problem all women inevitably face, and I say women because unfairly it isn’t a problem for men.
When hair starts to grey it’s one of the biggest challenges for women both physically and emotionally. My mum dyed her hair right through cancer treatment and beyond. When I told her I was going to let my hair go grey she was horrified as were many of my friends. This was about five years ago when it wasn’t as fashionable as it is now.
I was in that cycle of visiting my hairdresser every six weeks for a root top up but really only liking my hair for about two weeks before the grey started to show through again. It was costing a huge amount of money. Money however wasn’t my motive to go natural, I just felt enough is enough, I can absolutely rock grey hair. It took a leap of faith, a lot of determination and some serious research which is the part I’m going to explain.
You can go grey two ways and since I did it one way and one of my friends has recently done it another way I’m going to give you the lo down on both. You can then decide which one is for you.
The options to change your hair colour are limited. Skin care has changed dramatically but dyeing techniques have only evolved slightly. We are basically doing the same thing the Ancient Egyptians did: using pigments derived from vegetables but now adding some chemicals. These chemicals have an impact on your hair when used over time and many women find they become allergic to them.
I have or did have (I’ve just had it cut really short) shoulder length hair. I chose to grey slowly over a period of a year. Over that year I had more and more light hi lights in my hair and didn’t touch the roots. It didn’t look fantastic, but it didn’t look bad. There was a period when I thought I wouldn’t continue but my hair dresser was very supportive and encouraged me to stick with it. I didn’t take before and afters because it didn’t occur to me at the time. I have been my natural colour now for about two years, it suits my skin tone and I get loads of comments. A couple of my friends have been sufficiently taken with the look to go that way themselves. Obviously, it is easier if you have short hair because its quicker.
She went the full monty in one day! I asked her to take pictures of the process and they are below. Whilst this is dramatic, she has the Shazam to get away with it.
However, it does come with its own problems. The colour is stripped out of the hair using bleach and a toner is applied. What you should be aware of is that it is still a colour – it’s just white. So, you will still be in that round of going back to the hairdressers every six or seven weeks to get a toner applied. If you don’t the nice white will go a horrible yellow. What you won’t have is the dark roots because your grey will be coming through. You will still need to grow out the white colour if you want to stop going to the hairdresser for colouring.
Grey hair needs a good cut be it short or long – you need to wear it with confidence and own it. When you have grey hair it has a tendency to be a bit dry and lack shine, this can be overcome with the use of a good shampoo. There are lots of shampoo and conditioners on the market for grey/blond hair and they are all purple in colour. It’s worth using one of these because it does make a difference to your hair. When buying a shampoo try to look for Gogi berries in the ingredients as this acts as an antioxidant which protects your hair from the environment and Rose musk oil which also acts like a barrier.
I have yet to meet one person who would go back to the dark side once they start to allow the grey to come through. If you really hate it and you can’t live with the new you it only takes a couple of hours in the hairdresser’s chair to reverse.
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